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Donald Trump’s hush money trial

6:56 pm Eastern Time, May 21, 2024

The jury will return next Tuesday for their closing arguments. Read about the steps of the Trump trial

From CNN’s Lauren del Valle, Jhasua Razo and Gillian Roberts

The court will be dark for a week, a scheduling decision that Judge Juan Merchán chose so that the final stages of the trial would not be interrupted by a four-day Memorial Day weekend.

Merchan told jurors they will return next Tuesday for closing arguments, which are expected to last all day. Once the jury receives instructions from him, Trump’s fate will be in their hands.

Here’s a look at what will happen next at the trial:

Final arguments: The prosecution and defense attorneys each give a closing argument appealing to the jury that will soon consider the case. Because they have the burden of proof, prosecutors address the jury first, but they also have the final say, so the prosecution will give a rebuttal argument after the defense’s closing argument.

Jury Instruction or Jury Charge: The judge instructs the jury on the charges to consider against the defendant and the laws that govern their deliberations.

Jury deliberation: A panel of 12 jurors considers the evidence presented at trial and the charges against the defendant. The jury must be unanimous in its decision. The jury can communicate with the court and ask the court questions about the case through handwritten notes.

Verdict: The jury will notify the court that it has reached a verdict. The verdict will then be read in court and the jurors will be polled to confirm that the verdict read in court reflects their own vote.

Judgment: If the jury reaches a guilty verdict, the judge sentences the defendant, usually after a sentencing hearing at a later date.

CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Kara Scannell contributed reporting to this publication.